Why choose Telehealth?

The power of therapy does not just lie in what we say to each other but also in how we are being with each other. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has taught us important lessons about our need for connection with others and also about creative ways to do so.

Telehealth consultations have some distinct advantages over in-person consultations. For example, many of our clients tell us that telehealth makes it easier for them to attend therapy at a time that is convenient to them without the stress associated with travelling to our consultation rooms and navigating public transport, busy roads or finding parking. This time can instead be spent reviewing therapy notes or preparing your thoughts on what you wish to work on in session.

Telehealth means you can attend therapy in a place of your choosing where you feel completely safe and comfortable. We have had clients attend telehealth sessions while sitting in a quiet park, soothed by nature, or while on a walk. We have clients attend telehealth sessions while snuggled up on their favourite couch (it doesn't have to be a red one) with a warm comforting blanket or while being gently soothed by their cat or dog. This has been of great support to many clients, particularly when discussing difficult experiences and feelings.

We have had clients attend from the quiet space of a work meeting room in their lunch hour, from their safely parked car, and from a hotel room or a home they have temporarily visited.

Attending a telehealth session also allows you to take your own time to reconnect with the world after your session without the immediate demands of walking through a busy waiting room or getting straight back into the car or tram.

Telehealth sessions allow for continuity of therapy even when you move to the other side of the city, regionally, or interstate. In fact, you can access telehealth sessions anywhere in Australia with a good internet connection and still be able to claim a Medicare rebate if you are eligible for one. We have had clients attend telehealth sessions while overseas. This means you do not have to change psychologists if you do decide to move and start over with a new person.

Telehealth does have some disadvantages that are important to consider so you can make an informed decision about whether telehealth therapy is for you. Telehealth sessions do require you to have access to a private space where you can talk freely without interruption. Therefore, telehealth sessions may not be for you if you live in a busy household where you may be frequently interrupted or where you feel you may not be able to talk freely. Telehealth sessions may not be for you if find yourself in a family violence situation, where being overheard may put you in danger.

If you suffer from social anxiety and are house-bound, you may benefit from transitioning from telehealth sessions to in-person sessions as part of your therapy as a gradual step towards engaging with the outside world and other people.

Telehealth sessions run over the internet using both voice and camera functions. Therefore a good, high sped internet connection is required for best results. If you live in an area with patchy internet or unreliable power supply, telehealth sessions may not be for you.

Telehealth Tips for Best Results

Allow time before and after your session to gather your thoughts and fully arrive in your session. You may want to make a cup of tea and set up your space in your preferred way with a tissue box, blanket, water, a space for your therapy journal or notepad. Please do not consume alcohol or other drugs in session as this will interfere with your therapy. Make sure that the space you have chosen is comfortable for the duration of your session and free from distractions. You may need to close curtains to shut out visual distractions, tell others in your home or office that you are in a meeting and don't want to be disturbed, or you may choose to use headphones to block out audio distractions and have more privacy. Take a few moments before logging on to review what you want to work on. After your session, make some notes and allow time before getting on with the rest of your day. We recommend fitting in a little walk or time in nature to consolidate and ground your therapy work.

Set up your camera at a comfortable distance that allows your psychologist to see your face and torso clearly. This will help capture changes in facial expressions and body language that form an important part of therapy communications. Consider background lighting too as a background that is very bright will make it hard to see. Choose a set up that allows you to see your psychologist clearly on your screen.

Turn off your phone and email alerts to minimise interruptions and allow yourself to be fully present in your telehealth therapy session.

If a disruption in connectivity does occur, we have found that switching to mobile data, turning the camera off for a moment, or exiting the meeting and reconnecting usually fixes the issue quickly.